Support to the wood value chain in Nicaragua

Support to the wood value chain in Nicaragua

The development of an inclusive, efficient and sustainable forest sector is part of our efforts. We want to help reducing the vulnerability and environmental degradation, deforestation related to changes in land usage and climate change. I am happy to see that the project is benefiting directly to farms, associations, guilds and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Kenneth Bell, Ambassador of the European Union in Nicaragua

CONTEXT

Nicaragua is considered to have one of the highest development potential for wood products in Central America. The wood value chain is however at a critical point for its development. Despite advances in its legal framework and in institutional capacities, it faces a general decline of the natural resource and unreliable access to supplies of (quality) wood as raw material for processing. Few SMEs are able to grow into profitable and competitive businesses, whether on the local or on the export market.

OBJECTIVES

  • Increasing the dynamism of the forest and wood sector in the medium and long term.
  • Promoting sustainable added value at different levels of the wood value chain.

RESULTS

  • A total of 2.800 ha of forest plantations has been established.
  • Four forestry control posts have been built to facilitate the review and monitoring of transported forest products, guaranteeing their legality and traceability (Acoyapa, San Carlos, Corinto and San Fernando-Nueva Segovia).
  • Over 100 SMEs have strengthened their capacities of production and improved the quality of products.
  • More than 1,000 employees of SMEs have been trained and certified as cabinetmakers.
  • Equipment, tools and machinery have been provided to INATEC (National Institute of Technology) carpentry workshops.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • The project has a total budget of € 9, 2 million, of which € 8 million are EU non-reimbursable donation.
  • 741 producers have benefited from forest incentives granted by the project.
  • 23 % of the beneficiaries are women.
  • The project has helped 62 nursery farmers' families (with seeds and tools).

PARTNERS

TESTIMONY

Karla Sánchez, owner of "KarpiMuebles" workshop in Managua

Until recently, Karla said that she was working behind the scenes because its workshop was not legally registered. “Today, I am not only generating employment because I have more than 20 workers but I am also proud to contribute actively to the development of my country by paying my taxes."

She had also the opportunity to participate in a formation in business. “The formalization of my company has helped to improve the credibility toward our customer, have access to tax benefits, have an entrepreneurial vision of business, and make adjustments in administrative processes which permit me to have more efficient monitoring of my revenues and expenses. Thanks to this support I could recruit a counter and implement a business plan”.

Karla said that before the project, her machines did not allow them to improve the finish of the furniture and comply with the demand of products in time. ‘The project strengthened the productive infrastructure of my business. We would have never imagined having the industrial machinery the project offered us. Now we are positioning ourselves in a new market segment of high income private customers, the sales and incomes of the enterprise have increased by 50 %.”

Karla is a very active woman, a woman leader. She is mother, entrepreneur, business leader and one of the most important director in the industry of wood furniture sector in Nicaragua. Thanks to the technical assistance provided by the project, business owners of the wood sector are organised in a chamber of wood furniture. Karla is the secretary the Business Chamber, and the secretary of the National Confederation of Wood Furniture Business Chamber, a post of great responsibility and requires much leadership.“Being a Member of a business chamber permits me to influence public policies, to participate in various fora for consultation and conciliation which affect businesses’.